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SQIFF Shorts: Queer Arab Lives

December 7, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 4:35 pm


A series of shorts that reveal the social intricacies of queer Arab life. Nazem, a genderqueer Egyptian-Iraqi drag-queen, prepares for a performance informed by childhood memories of her mother. A lesbian woman from Lebanon takes a fairground ride with her friends where their conversation turns to sex, relationships, and desire. And a Syrian trans woman navigates everyday life in 90s Beirut.

Curated by Samar Ziadat in partnership with Dardishi, a zine and Festival of Arab womxn’s art.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale £0-£8 depending on what you can afford. To book, please use the button below or call CCA box office on +44 (0)141 352 4900.

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Films in Arabic, English, and French languages with English language subtitles/captions. Hearing loop available.

Films rely on visual material to convey ideas and are majority non-English language, so less accessible for blind and partially sighted audiences. Large print versions of handouts available.

CCA has good access for wheelchair users. Click here for more details on venue access.

Comfy seating (bean bags) available. If you would like to reserve this, please contact access@sqiff.org.

We have a limited travel fund to assist people to come to the Festival for those who could not otherwise afford to attend. If you would like to apply for this, please contact access@sqiff.org.


In order to make SQIFF more accessible to those on a low income, we use a sliding scale ticket price of £0-£8 for our events. You can choose what you pay based on your circumstances – you won’t be asked for any proof / ID, we just ask that you are honest! Our ticket sales go towards supporting the vital work of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, artists and organisers. If you have a free ticket and can no longer use it, please contact the relevant venue box office to let them know so it can be used by someone else. For more info on what you should pay, click here.


Three Centimetres (9m)
Dir: Lara Zeidan, Year: 2018
In the oldest fun park of Beirut, four young female friends go on a Ferris Wheel ride. During this claustrophobic open-air journey, they touch on intimate subjects, from making best use of three centimetres to Joanna’s recent breakup. However, Suzie’s breakup advice leads to an unexpected confession.

Dir. Amrou Al-Khadi, Year: 2017
Nazeem is a 26 year old Middle Eastern drag queen who names herself QUEEN ZA DREAM – she is preparing for a show with the utmost gravity, with an outfit evocative of an Egyptian deity.
 Interwoven with this is the story of Nazeem as a genderqueer 8 year-old boy, and the close bond he has with his Iraqi-Egyptian mother, Halima. Whilst flamboyant and in many ways a drag queen herself on the surface, Halima is governed by the strict expectations of gender in Arab society.

Cinema Fouad (41m)
Dir. Mohamed Soueid, Year: 1994
Khaled, a Syrian transgender migrant dreams of undergoing gender transition surgery. While trying to make a living from various menial jobs, she falls in love with a Palestinian freedom fighter and joins his resistance. Gently, compassionately, Cinema Fouad draws a portrait of Khaled and introduces the viewer to one of Beirut’s rarely seen netherworlds.


December 7, 2018
3:30 pm - 4:35 pm
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Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3JD United Kingdom
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0141 352 4900